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Operating Systems Windows

Windows 7 Hits RTM At Build 7600.16385 341

Posted by timothy
from the finally-we-can-sleep-nights dept.
An anonymous reader links to Ars Technica's report that (quoting) "Microsoft today announced that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have hit the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) milestone. The software giant still has a lot of work to do, but the bigger responsibility now falls to OEMs that must get PCs ready, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that are testing their new apps, and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) that are preparing their new hardware. The RTM build is 7600, but it is not the same one that leaked less than two weeks ago (7600.16384). We speculated that Microsoft may end up recompiling build 7600 until it is satisfied, but it only took the company one more shot to get it right: 7600.16385 is the final build number. Microsoft refused to share the full build string, but if you trust leaks from a few days ago, it's '6.1.7600.16385.090713-1255,' which indicates that the final build was compiled over a week ago: July 13, 2009, at 12:45pm. This would be in line with the rumored RTM date but it is also the day Microsoft stated that Windows 7 had not yet hit RTM. Although the final build had been compiled, Microsoft still had to put it through testing before christening it as RTM."
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Windows 7 Hits RTM At Build 7600.16385

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  • Great news! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:43PM (#28788385)

    Only 2 more service packs until it's stable.

  • by darpo (5213) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:44PM (#28788401) Homepage
    I suppose it's true to the idea that 7 is "just a Vista service pack," but still seems odd.
    • by jerep (794296) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:47PM (#28788425)

      Just like XP was a service pack for 2000 (XP is 5.1), nothing new here, same old Microsoft.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by chammy (1096007)
        Why is this marked troll? Vista vs Win7 is pretty close to how 2000 and XP can be compared (most changes in the UI, not the core).
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:22PM (#28788821)

          Because it is a troll; there are changes in the core, many, now there are not as many dependencies and it features a modular design (check the add and remove windows features dialog, you can get rid of everything there and leave only the core os); also UAC was changed, the ribbon is included in the core as an API, performance was enhanced so much that it can run on old Pentium CPUs and netbooks, etc. etc. In fact the thing that less changed was the UI (Still using the same glass Windows).

          Do you even know what changed?

          • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:28PM (#28788893)
            So lets see here. UAC was changed, thats no different than changing SELinux or Apparmor on Ubuntu, not a major change. Modular design, again, not a huge change just severed a few ties between IE and core system libraries. Ok, so there are a few new APIs, still, not a huge change. As for performance? That should be natural progress of development.

            Regardless, it isn't a radical change. Just a code cleanup.
            • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:42PM (#28789061) Journal
              http://www.tomshardware.com/news/windows-graphics-desktop-multicore-cpu,7643.html [tomshardware.com] In Windows Vista, a single application could hold a system-wide lock on the GDI, basically creating a bottleneck, especially if there are other applications waiting in line to access the graphics stack. While such a design decision may have been okay in the past, it's been re-engineered for Windows 7. "This work also resulted in better rendering performance of concurrent GDI applications on multi-core CPUs. Multi-core Windows PCs benefit from these changes as more than one application can now be rendering at the same time," Chitre said, adding that the improvements worked to reduce response time issues. "Without the Windows 7 GDI concurrency, the rendering throughput of these applications is effectively limited to the performance of a single CPU core. Since only a single application can acquire the global exclusive lock while the others are waiting, this scenario doesn't benefit from multiple CPU cores. This demonstrates that GDI applications in Windows 7 are now much less dependent on one another."
              • Offloaded GDI (Score:5, Informative)

                by jpmorgan (517966) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @07:35PM (#28789619) Homepage

                IIRC, they also offloaded most of the GDI rendering to the GPU. In Windows XP and previous, all drawing and compositing was done on the CPU. Vista added GPU compositing, but which is what Vista uses to implement the frosted-glass effect. The problem is that, since drawing was still done by the CPU and the system does compositing on the GPU, it keeps two complete GDI buffers for each window. On laptops where most integrated cards use system memory this was doubling the amount of system memory required for the GDI. Windows 7 changes this so that both compositing and drawing are done on the GPU, eliminating the need for a CPU window buffer. One of the things this does is cut total memory consumption in half, and eliminates CPU memory consumption by the GDI subsystem entirely. The other advantage is power- Vista's use of the GPU for compositing means more recent graphics chips are much better behaved when it comes to power consumption than they used to be. By doing the drawing and compositing on the GPU, Win7 doesn't draw as much power on modern laptops since the GPU can do that for less power than the CPU.

        • I'd say it's probably closer to WinME and Win2k. Win2k was a decent OS, WinME was a disaster (perhaps even worse than Vista).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:49PM (#28788447)

      A fair few really stupid installers actually did this:

      if (MajorVersion>5) and (MinorVersion>1) then { // compatible with Windows XP or later
      }

      Which is fine for 5.1 and 6.1, but crapped out in Vista (6.0), and would crap out if Windows 7 was 7.0 - so, 6.1. That's actually why.

      • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:47PM (#28789129) Journal

        if (MajorVersion>5) and (MinorVersion>1) then { // compatible with Windows XP or later }

        Which is fine for 5.1 and 6.1...

        Don't you mean (MajorVersion >= 5) ?

      • People make this shit up at the drop of a dime. This is NT 6.1, simple as that. The "Windows 7" tag is meaningless bullshit, that bears no relation whatsoever to the NT version. The Windows version naming scheme had a little bit of meaning, up through NT4.x and Win98. Starting with Windows 2000 and WinME, Microsoft broke the naming scheme, intentionally, to confuse the public.

        Trying to make up reasons for a new bogus naming scheme is only going to make people look stupid.

        • The scheme was broken anyway.

          The first version of Windows NT was named Windows NT 3.1, and was soon followed by 3.5/3.51.

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:08PM (#28788655)

      I suppose it's true to the idea that 7 is "just a Vista service pack," but still seems odd.

      Not at all. Vista has taken the punches, got a fat lip and two black eyes - so Microsoft rebrands it and it loses the bad name of Vista. I just installed Windows 7 RC - and it's nicer. There is new programming under the hood, particularly the UI and feels speedier - although I have to question whether that speed was all a result of improved programming or attribute some to the fact that it was a clean install of Windows erasing a cluttered and used OEM Vista install.

      But given the driver model is the same, the lack of noticeable bumps on the alpha, beta, and RC compared to Vista woes - I can only assume it's really a service pack with an UI overhaul. Which is okay; Ubuntu and OS X both operate on the idea of short upgrade cycles that allows them to focus on goals and be a lot more evolutionary in a short time instead of trying to be revolutionary (longhorn) and failing miserably.

      I just don't like paying full price as if this were brand new windows. Ubuntu is free and OS X license is relatively cheap, especially family packs. I'll pay $50 for Windows 7 as a 2-3 year upgrade to Vista, but don't forsee $100 as being inherently fair at all.

      • It's not fair to those of you who were stuck with Vista; I think it's there to prevent those of us who skipped it from getting a free ride.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sick_em (1603731)
        I read that the speed of Windows 7 is a result of some under the hood programming. They implemented concurrency in the drawing component of GDI, which in theory allows for smoother graphics when multiple GDI apps are running. The old way of doing things was a single lock, and the time it took to lock/unlock is what seems to have caused past responsiveness issues.
      • Win7 is lighter on system resources, to be sure, but the real catch was the OEM bit. OEM Vista installations were uniformly absolute shit. All kinds of pre-installed crap that ran at startup (including things which are practically impossible to cleanly remove, like Norton Internet shitware), some truly retarded default settings (yes, worse than the Microsoft defaults), and poorly-tested replacements for Microsoft binaries (usually functionally the same, but OEM branded and typically shadowing or outright removing the built-in software) made the OS run MUCH worse than a clean install on the same hardware would. Hardware troubles and beta drivers aside, I have not (in almost 3 years since RTM) seen Vista BSOD or otherwise catastrophically fail on a clean install. Yes, it happens on OEM copies. It would might happen if you installed a trojan or something retarded like that. Barring such stupidity, however, Vista is an extremely stable OS that performs quite acceptably on systems with 1 GB of RAM and a 1.8GHz single-core CPU (my initial Vista machine, a laptop over a year old by Vista's RTM).

        That said, Win7 is definitely a major improvement in many areas. Vista, especially at RTM, really did have some truly stupid bugs.

  • by Aggrajag (716041) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:46PM (#28788419)
    English version will be available from Technet on August 6th.
    http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/07/21/when-will-you-get-windows-7-rtm.aspx [windowsteamblog.com]
    • And MSDN Too (Score:3, Informative)

      by noc007 (633443)

      For those that don't know and didn't want to RTFL, it will be available to MSDN subscribers on August 6th as well. If your company didn't pony up for one of the subscriptions, but does have Volume Licenses for Windows with a current Software Assurance, it will be available on August 7th.

    • by LibertineR (591918) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:38PM (#28789023)
      ....just a couple seconds after MSDN.
      • By then TPB is scheduled to be in the hands of its new owners... assuming that deal plays out. I'll get it from Demonoid.
    • by UnrefinedLayman (185512) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @08:44PM (#28790109)
      For those who are interested, a TechNet Plus subscription costs $349, and includes Windows XP (all versions), Windows Vista (all versions), Windows 7 (all versions), Office 2007 (all applications), Windows Server 2008 (all versions), and the license permits installation on multiple computers.

      Compare this to the retail cost of Windows 7 Ultimate ($319) and Office 2007 Professional ($499) and it's quite a deal, especially since retail Windows 7 won't be available until October 22nd, whereas TechNet Plus subscribers get it August 6th.

      Why would ANYONE pay retail for Windows or Office when TechNet is available?
  • Really? (Score:3, Funny)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:47PM (#28788421)

    but it only took the company one more shot to get it right

    Really?

    Can I have a rain check on that?

  • by bugs2squash (1132591) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @05:59PM (#28788569)
    "'6.1.7600.16385.090713-1255,' which indicates that the final build was compiled over a week ago: July 13, 2009, at 12:45pm."

    Does this mean that they run the clock 10 minutes fast on the build machine to make them feel like they are ahead of the game ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Noren (605012)
      Nah, it just took them 10 minutes to compile.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
        Only 10 minutes? Gentoo beats them, hands down.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by snowgirl (978879) *

        Nah, it just took them 10 minutes to compile.

        The build timestamp is the timestamp in the source control system used to sync all the files to. When compiling, one chooses a time slightly before when you started the process, or a time slightly in the future. Then the automated build process starts up, waits for the time to arrive, then syncs to the given timestamp, then runs the build process.

        However, trust me, Windows takes well more time than even Gentoo to compile...

  • by SixDimensionalArray (604334) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:12PM (#28788717)

    IANAMFB (I am not a Microsoft fan-boy), but I have to admit that so far, it looks like it is at least a bit exciting (especially from the rock-solid RC). Pretty much what Vista should have been.

    As a true technologist, I try to stay technology-agnostic because good things often come out of the strangest places. Truthfully, many flavors of Linux are great, Mac OS is great, and Windows 7 looks like it should be great. Considering all these various flavors of greatness, I'd say it's still as good a time as any to be a techie! Maybe I'm just tired of all the negative slant the world puts on everything and am being overly optimistic.

    Let's enjoy this new tech, welcome it, evaluate it and let it find its place in our toolbox, like every other tool before.

    Discuss freely.

    6d

    • by cptdondo (59460) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:27PM (#28788873) Journal

      What "new tech"? So far I haven't seen anything in Vista or 7 that would make me say, "I gotta have that tech!"

      To be fair, I haven't seen much in linux lately that would make me say that, either.

      let's be honest: OS "tech" has hit maturity for most users. There really isn't anything truly exciting coming out - because there really isn't anything exciting left to be done unless the whole OS/UI undergoes a severe paradigm shift.

      Unfortunately that's not going to happen because there's too much invested in the current tech.

      I'm going to see how the adoption rates are for 7. I see a rocky road for MS; people are happy with XP, it's stable, and for most of us it's a f*cking desk. No amount of hype is going to convince me that I have to get a shinier pressboard and formica office desk; the one I have works just fine.

      • Hahaha. OS tech has hit maturity?? Far from it!

        It has hit a state of complete lack of new ideas, because of laziness.

        Windows imitates Macs, Linux imitates Windows (I love my Linux systems, but unfortunately this is the truth), and Apple no reason to innovate MacOS X, because they are already better. At least this is what they think. ^^

        In reality though, Linux (or the Linux desktop environments) could shine more than anything else. Because its openness allows for things that just arent possible with commercial applications.
        What I mean is how Linux works on the shell: You can combine and recombine all your small tools, using the file system, and small scripts, piping data, etc.
        Now imagine this for the desktop. Imagine that all the functions you can reach trough all the apps of your GUI desktop, were not one application, but small, fast, little widgets and tools. Then add a set of view and control apps to it. In a way it would be like the extensions of firefox combined with a photohshop without the main window.
        You could endlessly recombine the tools from one package with that from another one, and use a document viewer/controller from a third package. (Where "package" would be, what we call apps today.)

        Imagine taking the brush from photoshop, and the formula renderer from your calculator, and paint the formula into an arbitrary document. Things like that.
        Interoperability would work trough standardized data structures (think xml or ebml chunks/streams with mime type headers).

        And this is only one idea.
        You see, GUIs still have a long way to go, to get even close to optimal efficiency (where "efficiency" is power multiplied with simplicity). :)

        And as you also see, shiny but pointless 3D desktops are more likely the opposite of this efficiency.

        • There are innovations in OS X. For me, one of the most useful is iDisk, which is a seamless UI on top of RSync (or something similar). All of my smallish documents (not video edits etc.) are now on iDisk and sync perfectly between my laptop and desktop whether I'm at home or on the road. If I don't have my laptop I can use the web interface on any Mac or PC to get to my files. It's pretty simple, but for me has massively improved my ability to work on the move. Nothing revolutionary under the hood, but
        • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @09:30PM (#28790397)
          Hopefully I won't get flamed for this (from both sides of the spectrum..lol). Regarding your comment about combining and recombining tools in the OS: What your describing in regards to scripting OS apps together to form new tools sounds like PowerShell for Windows. I'm actually excited that it will be included in Windows 7 from an IT perspective. I've had to program in it heavily for our Exchange 2007 migration and I've actually come to admire this tool. We were able to migrate 40,000 users to Exchange 2007 all in a fully automated fashion using load balancing on the target servers and totally seamless to the end user. It allows piping of just about anything, and it hooks extensively into the OS. It also supports plugins (although I've only had experience with the Exchange plugin). It makes it easy to pick up and hard to put down. Even doing something as simple as a directory info (DIR) and piping that output into a hash table becomes simplicity itself ($mydir = dir c:\). From there it's extremely easy to parse the $mydir hash for individual properties like filenames, access dates, file size, etc. The same is true for grabbing system tasks using Get-Process. Everything is exposed in a hash table with a single command and that easily piped into yet another command to mangle to your hearts content. After years of starving for a good shell, I think MS finally got this one right. If you haven't looked at it yet and you work in an MS IT shop, your missing out.

          I can't say that I'm overly impressed with Windows 7 (yet...time will tell). It seems to run on par with XP performance wise, which in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It does so with more security at least. I don't really care about the UI changes as they mostly seem cosmetic in nature. A few things moved around or a tad easier to navigate to or around, but nothing I'm finding is a must-have. The RC I've been using has been flakey in regards to bluetooth support, but generally the OS has been stable overall. I'm sure the bluetooth will be solid by release. I'm taking the same approach as I'm sure many folks who were burned with Vista are doing.. Wait and see. That said, the price seems very steep for a more secure XP with some window dressing. Make no mistake that although the feature set may be extensive for the techie crowd (depending on what articles you read), for the typical Joe User who only knows what he can see and feel, it's a more stable 'Vista'. Again that is not necessarily a bad thing (think Windows 2000/XP).

          Arguably, with the right software and hardware, XP could be secured for typical use of browsing and e-mail leaving only the GUI changes lacking for Joe User on XP. It just seems extremely costly for all of these changes that the basic home user probably won't care about.

          Typical Joe Users just wants to check their e-mail and get to their online poker game going with their buddies or what not. My only decision going forward will be if I want to continue to invest in Microsoft at home (work is a given at this point), or switch the last of my Windows machines to Mac. The pilot Mac I bought for my family has actually done rather well and the adjustment wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It makes me want to take a harder swag at Linux as well given the easy transition I've had with Leopard. If Vista accomplished anything, it was to make people more aware of alternatives which is never a bad thing.
      • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @07:26PM (#28789537)

        Meh, there's a few things in Win 7 that IS actually pretty cool and not just eye candy. The home group thing looked interesting, for example. I find some of the UI differences very intuitive and a lot easier to work with than (dare I say it) my Ubuntu 9.04 install on my laptop.

        I'm not one of the MS Windows 7 software engineers so I don't know what, if anything, really changed under the hood, but it's the above-the-surface stuff that typically will make applications work well (or just *feel* like they work well) or not. Example that's very ready on my mind: GnuCash. I'm looking for a home finance program (just to keep track of budget vs. expenses, pretty much). GnuCash does everything but has, IMO, an awful and very user-unfriendly UI. It'd be a great program if the UI was less confusing and less cluttered.

        If nothing else, Win 7 has done a good job with that part of user-friendliness, which isn't just for John Doe at home. Even a programmer/software tester/whatever like me enjoys using an easy-to-use OS when I don't need a unix style shell but just need a text editor, a word processor, or want to play a game.

      • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @07:43PM (#28789689) Journal

        I'm going to see how the adoption rates are for 7. I see a rocky road for MS; people are happy with XP, it's stable, and for most of us it's a f*cking desk. No amount of hype is going to convince me that I have to get a shinier pressboard and formica office desk; the one I have works just fine.

        Application bloat will save the day for MS. It's already hard to manage a desktop of intensive apps and data on 32 bit XP limited to 3.5GB of RAM. 64 bit Windows 7 will allow larger apps and more data as the bloat continues to escalate.

      • I'm happy with XP, too (for the stuff I need Windows for anyway) but I'm also happy that Win7 might be a chance to upgrade without getting a crap OS instead. XP is actually a good OS after the SPs, it's stable and it does stuff. But it's nearly 8 years old and that's starting to show. There's tech out there that XP simply doesn't support. I'd like to enjoy my games in DirectX 10 since I have a video card supporting that but XP doesn't support DX10. I'll want to get myself >4 gigs of RAM sooner or later a

        • by brenddie (897982)

          32bit XP limit of 3.5GB is an artificial limit imposed by MS, same as 32bit win2003 standard. 32bit Win2003 Enterprise can use PAE to handle above 4GB. 32bit Win2003 standard is limited to 4GB unnecessarily

          Dont know if Vista7 32bit has the same limitation but wouldn't surprise me

      • Built-in transparent full-volume encryption is pretty cool, especially when you can encrypt a flashdrive (on Win7) then still access the contents (with passphrase or other key source) on an older computer running XP or similar.

        Strong two-way firewall with good configurability means no more spending time and possibly money on third-party firewalls. That saves system resources too. Vista had this too, and I've seen no sign of it being vulnerable to penetration.

        UAC makes running as a standard user a lot easier to deal with (it's a bloody pain on XP, and frankly running as Administrator is just bloody idiotic). Win7 has added more configurability to UAC and made it less in-your-face by default.

        Integrated instant search. I simply can't stand to use XP for any length of time due to the simple fact that it lacks this incredibly convenient feature (which every other major OS has as well).

        Gadgets. Yep, I use them. Very handy for a lot of things, like Pandora, a simple calculator, or at-a-glance traffic info. Several substantial improvements here compared to Vista.

        Automatic driver installations and updates. WinXP's plug-and-play driver collection is horrifically outdated (it's an 8-year-old OS) and a lot of modern hardware requires manually installing drivers. On Win7, those drivers are already present on the system and get installed immediately, or Windows will check online, find your drivers, and download/install them for you (signed and certified binaries only, of course). Win7 will also check for updates to existing drivers, and allow you to download the updates with a single click.

        These are very much things that "most users" will find superior to XP. The hardware requirements are undeniably higher, but you can get computers for under $400 that are quite capable of running Win7, and mid-to-high-end new machines have more RAM than a 32-bit OS can utilize anyhow.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by julesh (229690)

          Built-in transparent full-volume encryption is pretty cool, especially when you can encrypt a flashdrive (on Win7) then still access the contents (with passphrase or other key source) on an older computer running XP or similar.

          As this feature was trivially available with free third-party software, I don't see it being a huge improvement.

          Strong two-way firewall with good configurability means no more spending time and possibly money on third-party firewalls. That saves system resources too. Vista had this to

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Built-in transparent full-volume encryption is pretty cool

          Except it's Microsoft's typically half-assed implementation. Anyone needing real volume encryption these days uses TrueCrypt. Except, hey look! Microsoft done broke TC full-disk encryption with Windows 7 [poller.se]. Surprise, surprise.

          Strong two-way firewall with good configurability means no more spending time and possibly money on third-party firewalls.

          Already found in XP.

          I simply can't stand to use XP for any length of time due to the simple fact that it

    • I'd agree with this. I'm somewhat of a Linux fanboy myself, as I use Arch almost exclusively - but I wiped my Vista partition a couple of days ago and put Win7RC on there (build 7100).

      I'm impressed. It boots fast, it runs fast, the new taskbar is clean and useful - it seems to be an all around good product. I don't see it pulling me away from Arch - I'm running ScrotWM these for coding, and nothing Windows does let it compete with a tiling WM from a productivity standpoint - but I see myself booting to Windows 7 more often when I just want to surf the web or check email. I never did that with Vista.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        They aren't built-in, but there are plenty of programs to do "virtual desktops' on Windows. The one I like most (solid, nice features, sufficiently lightweight, and open source) calls itself Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager:
        http://www.codeplex.com/vdm [codeplex.com]

    • IANAMFB (I am not a Microsoft fan-boy), but I have to admit that so far, it looks like it is at least a bit exciting (especially from the rock-solid RC)
      Sure it's "exciting", given that Slashdot is hyping Windows 7 with some "News" every two weeks. Or every single week, more like it.

      • Yeah but I remember the Windows ME beta and RC was better than the RTM version. So you really cannot tell by the beta and release candidate if the RTM version will have different issues. Windows ME was based on Windows 98 like Windows 7 is based on Windows Vista.

        But then again Windows XP was based on Windows 2000, and at first it had issues but the service packs seemed to make it good enough for use. Which is why Vista users downgraded to XP in the first place.

  • by LibertineR (591918) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:34PM (#28788975)
    No more freakin VPN's, bitches!

    Check it out: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/network/dd420463.aspx [microsoft.com]

    • VPN his what?

      But if I decode what you tried to say, then this is just a VPN with on-the-fly connecting and disconnecting functionality.
      I don't see what the point of this would be.

      But then how can it connect even before the user logs is? With a... let me guess... VPN with a machine account??

      Sorry, but this all looks just like a typical Microsoft re-labeling: Put another name on it, describe it differently, and sell it as if you had invented something.

      Or am I completely wrong here? I don't think so, because t

    • Cool, hope it works as advertised. I just spent 4 hours updating my VPN client (old version refused to uninstall), I'd love to never have to go through that again.
    • by shird (566377)

      This sounds like a security disaster waiting to happen. Basically at boot time it opens a hole in your firewall/NAT directly to your machine - without you even having to log in. If there's a flaw in that service, people behind NAT/firewall/routers are going to be vulnerable rather than 'safe from internet worms by default' like with many other vulnerabilities.

    • by McNihil (612243)

      "...and IT administrators can manage remote computers outside the office..."

      Yeah right and I am going to let joe-admin on my home machine... think not... not in a million years.

      And who doesn't have a home router with VPN in these kind of scenarios in any case?

      IMHO This is a fluff feature.

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @11:13PM (#28791103)

      You realize DirectAccess is just a machine level VPN rather than a VPN controlled by the user ... right?

      You realize that having that connection always on is not a good thing when you get infected with some silly virus that wants to probe everything it can talk to and infect, right?

      There are about 50 billion reasons why this is a retarded idea, and about 3 for why its good. Considering VPNs can be configured to auto connect already its really silly that you're all excited over another VPN package made by MS, which has traditionally had an absolutely shitty track record for providing a secure connection.

      So go ahead, be excited that you have Direct Access, but just try to get a clue and realize its just another form of VPN which you need to watch for security issues and requires you to be locked into MS due to the use of a non-standard protocol.

      Go read up on IPSEC if you'd like to catch up to how everyone could do this 10 years ago, including Windows with 3rd party software.

      • by johndfalk (1255208) on Thursday July 23, 2009 @02:39AM (#28792293)

        Windows xp went RTM August 24, 2001 so not exactly ten years ago but with XP IPSec VPNs have been supported from the beginning. I hate to sound like a prick but when coming up against such sheer ignorance its hard not to.

        1. IPsec requires a ton of ports being available and open which just isn't the case as often anymore when going to a hotel. Hence why a lot of corporations are looking at things like SSL-VPNS. Direct access overcomes this limitation by tunneling all their IPv6 traffic in standard HTTPS packets which is pretty universally allowed.
        2. You can configure your vpn to connect to automatically but what if i have a public web server that I want to connect to and split DNS (or DNS client views) so the internal and external zones are the same. I don't want my stupid VPN client trying to connect every time I go to www.slashdot.org with direct access you specify internal zones or internal servers that it should connect for while allowing it to route all other traffic normally.
        3. Microsoft's best practices on direct access say to use Network Access Protection to isolate the clients and force security scans just like most modern VPN clients except now its completely transparent to the user which saves time and money.

  • by caywen (942955) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @06:40PM (#28789047)

    - Win7 is marginally faster than Vista, and it will run on far faster, more capacious hardware (on average).
    - The beta/RC was a huge try-before-you-buy program, which lends itself to a more positive view of the product.
    - It finally fits on a netbook, and those will be the rage once they start becoming really sexy.
    - $99 just isn't what it used to be.

  • by caveman (7893) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @07:21PM (#28789473)

    Anyone worth half a karma point here will recognise 16384 as a power of two.

    In my years of software development, numbers like this jump out at you, usually while debugging something that has crashed due to overwriting something, and suspicious powers of two just scream 'BUG' at me.

    Perhaps this move to manufacturing has simply been caused by microsoft not allocating enough bits in the build number, and one more recompile has tripped the manufacturing release...

    struct BuildNumber
    {
        int IncrementalVersion : 14;
        int ReleaseToManufacturing : 1;
        int FinallyBugFree : 1;
    }

    (and if this really is the source code, we'll have to wait until release 32768 for a bug free version, assuming we don't hit -32768 first)

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @07:26PM (#28789531)

    I've been using the public beta since it came out, and the RC1 since the public beta expired, and all in all, it's pretty good. Takes forever for me to figure out how to do anything anymore, since I'm so used to XP (stripped down to non-flashy mode; more like W2K in use), but that's no biggie.

    The big question in my life as a web developer is: When is IE gonna be a good browser? How many versions is it gonna TAKE?

    I take solace in the fact that anyone upgrading to Wndows 7 is going to be forced to go with IE8 or some non-MS browser. No more IE 6 or 7. *whew* Hopefully the critical update and the enterprise migration tool thingy for IE8 coming soon will get rid of a large percentage of the remaining IE 6 users that aren't on something older than Windows XP. Win2K/ME/98/95 users, well, tough luck. Time to for you or your administrator to either upgrade to a netbook or install Firefox/Opera/whatever. Way PAST time, really. But if someone in your company was stupid enough to develop something requiring ActiveX, I guess IE8 is it for you. If you want the Gecko renderer from Firefox, but your system can't handle the overhead of a XUL browser, try K-Meleon.

    Even real life highways have minimum speeds, you know. Get your Model T off the information superhighway, you're dangerous.

  • Correction (Score:5, Funny)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @07:30PM (#28789567)

    Windows 7 hits, RTFM

    There, fixed that for you.

  • ...was heard as Microsoft turned the motor of its marketing machine for Windows 8.

    What's our over-under on when we start hearing about the next round?

    • by dimeglio (456244)

      For the next version, I think Windows 9000 has a nice ring to it. Well I remember the old Windows 1.0. Finally we'll soon be out of beta.

  • by NullProg (70833)

    The new version of my NullProgNix comes out next month too.

    Features:

    No WGA Everyone is a thief because its free and they cant be caught. We don't care.
    No Secure Audio Path We hold the electron path between the users CPU and soundcard as sacred.
    No Secure Video Path We don't care what you watch.
    The license Manager (CACL) checker doesn't do anything when you hook a printer up without a CACL We don't care how many connections your computer has.
    To make Windows users at home Cron will launch a desktop/men

  • Xerox story... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meburke (736645) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @09:57PM (#28790563)

    Back in the days of PARC, they had a device that you could manipulate the input on screen using your fingers. It was called a "Capacitance-Activated Tablet" or "CAT" for short. A few months later, someone developed a device that used a rolling ball and sensors on an X-Y axis to move the cursor, and pressing a button to initiate the action. Because of it's looks, and since they already had a CAT, they called it a MOUSE.

    Unless the mechanism of the patent in question is different from the capacitance array, or unless this company bought the patents from Xerox, it seems that Xerox holds a patent on prior art. I'd like to see the working model they submitted with their patent...

    Touch-screen technology at the time required little lamps around the bezel of the screen, and the location was done using the interference of the X-Y coordinates of the intersecting beams of light. Light-pens gave feedback to the actual pixel grid on the (phosphor based) screen.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (8) I'm on the committee and I *still* don't know what the hell #pragma is for.

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